Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice. It can often end up undercooked and crunchy. Why is your brown rice crunchy, and what can you do about it?
If your brown rice is crunchy, it is likely because it needs more water when cooking. Also, make sure you don’t open the lid of your pot too often while your rice cooks. Keep as much steam and moisture in your cooking pot as possible so your brown rice cooks correctly.
Is Brown Rice Supposed To Be A Little Crunchy?
Brown rice should not be crunchy. Brown rice has the bran and the germ intact, so brown rice is thicker and takes longer to cook. Cooked brown rice should be soft and chewy, with a nutty flavor.
Why Is My Brown Rice Crunchy?
There are two main reasons your brown rice ends up crunchy:
- You didn’t add enough water at the beginning of cooking
- You opened the lid of your pot too often and allowed too much steam to escape
Your brown rice may also end up crunchy because it’s older. Older rice needs more water to cook.
Since I buy my rice in bulk, it sometimes lasts me over six months. If I’m using brown rice over six months old, I add ¼-½ cup more water when cooking it.
If you know your brown rice is old, soak it before cooking. Soaking helps your rice start to soften and end up fluffier. I always store my rice in the freezer to keep it fresh.
How Do You Make Brown Rice Less Crunchy?
Make your brown rice less crunchy by adding the correct amount of cooking water.
- If you cook on the stovetop, your brown rice needs a 1:2.5 cups brown rice to water ratio.
- If you use a rice cooker, use a 1:2.25 ratio.
- You need a 1:1 brown rice-to-water ratio if using an instant pot.
How Do I Fix Crunchy Brown Rice After Cooking?
If your brown rice is still crunchy after cooking, add ½ cup of water or broth and put the lid back on your pot. Allow the rice to simmer for 10-15 more minutes until it absorbs all the liquid.
If you’re using a rice cooker, close the lid and press the cook cycle again. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes, and then check your rice.
I prefer to add broth if I need liquid after cooking my rice. If I add water at the end of the cooking cycle, my brown rice tastes bland.
I keep large ice cubes of frozen broth in my freezer, so I always have some on hand. I add 2-3 ice cubes of broth to equal ½ cup.
How To Cook The Best Pot Of Brown Rice
Wash Your Rice
Washing removes excess starch from your rice. Rinse your rice until the water runs clear. Then drain thoroughly and add to your pot.
If you want to ensure your brown rice ends up soft, let your rice soak for 15-30 minutes. Soaking removes excess starch and allows the rice to absorb water. After you soak your rice, rinse your rice until the water runs clear. Then, reduce the amount of cooking water by ¼ cup.
Correct Brown Rice To Water Ratio
Each cooking method requires a different amount of water. Use this guide for best results.
Combine one cup of brown rice with two and a half cups of water. Cook for 50 minutes.
Combine one cup of brown rice with two and a quarter cups of water. Cook for about 50 minutes.
Combine one cup of brown rice with one cup of water. Cook for 30 minutes.
Alternate Brown Rice Cooking Method
If you’ve tried the ideas above and still have crunchy brown rice, here’s an alternate cooking method. You’ll need to experiment with the exact cooking and resting time based on the size of your pot and stove.
- Put 1.5 cups of rice into a large pot.
- Pour in more water than you think you need. There’s no need to measure.
- Add one teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine.
- Cover with the lid and bring to a boil.
- Vent the lid and let the pot simmer for 35-40 minutes.
- Pour out all the excess water, but leave the rice inside the pot.
- Put the lid back on and set the pot aside for another 30 minutes. Keep as much steam and heat inside the pot as possible so the rice absorbs the moisture.
- Remove the lid and fluff your rice with a fork.
This method should result in fluffy, moist rice.
Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice. When brown rice is cooked correctly, it should be fluffy and moist. If your brown rice is crunchy, add more water or broth when you cook it.